CLEARWATER – Tampa Bay Water will distribute $23,950 in grant funds to help Tampa Bay area nonprofits protect the region’s sources of drinking water. The utility is partnering with the Florida Aquarium, Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation, Hillsborough County Council PTA/PTSA, Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers and Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education program on projects that protect and restore sensitive waterways, and educate families, teachers, students and residents through environmental education programs.
“Our community plays an important role in keeping our drinking water sources clean and safe,” said Brandon Moore, Tampa Bay Water’s public communications manager. “Partnering with organizations that share common environmental goals helps us reach more people and helps to ensure that we have clean, safe water supplies for generations to come.”
Tampa Bay Water will fund five organizations through its Source Water Protection Mini-grant program.
The Florida Aquarium will use $8,000 in grant funding for workshops to inform educators about various sources for our drinking water supply in the Tampa Bay area and the importance of protecting our watersheds. Workshops will provide opportunities for educators to interact with inquiry-based activities that can be used with students and other audiences that they teach. Activities will support important watershed and drinking water source concepts for students and teachers alike. The project’s main goal is to provide outreach to the broader Tampa Bay community through educators and their students.
The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation will use $3,000 in grant funding to install interpretative signage panels along the elevated Wetlands Walkway in the Florida Botanical Gardens located in Pinellas County. The sign topics will relate directly to wetlands and why they are important to the water cycle and ecosystem. The objective of the project is to increase awareness and stewardship of Florida’s wetlands and source waters. The Florida Botanical Gardens has thousands of visitors each year who will experience the Wetlands Walkway and educational signage.
The Hillsborough County Council PTA/PTSA will use $2,250 in grant funding for an art competition following the same standards as the National PTA’s Reflections program with the theme “Protecting Our Water.” Every year the National PTA hosts the Reflections program for all PTA units throughout the United States. Students submit their completed works of art based on a theme and participate in appropriate division for their grade. Students will conduct research about water protection and decide how to represent the theme in a work of art. The artwork will be displayed at an arts festival for the Reflections program. The project’s main goal is to raise awareness of ways in which we can protect our water in the Tampa Bay region.
Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers will use $8,000 in grant funding to educate Hispanic communities of Tampa Bay about the importance of our region's water supply through outings and community clean ups that are delivered in their language and cultural representation. The grant funding will support several community clean-ups along paddle trails, waterways and coastal areas. The project seeks to promote learning about our region’s drinking water supply and taking action to help protect it.
The Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education program will use $2,700 in grant funding to build upon existing curriculum resources by creating an original, Florida Standards-aligned teacher guide on source water protection. The teacher guide will focus on engaging students by integrating current events and issues pertaining to the environment and water topics. The grant funding will support a series of educator professional development workshops, both in-person and virtual, focused on showing teachers how to incorporate source water protection resources, themes and activities into existing curricula. The project’s main goal is to provide Tampa Bay teachers with a comprehensive suite of resources to teach about source water protection.
About the Source Water Protection Mini-grant Program
Tampa Bay Water’s Source Water Protection Mini-grant program is an important component of the utility’s outreach and education efforts for source water protection. A major line of defense in protecting drinking water sources is public awareness and support. Non-profit groups, schools and community groups are eligible to apply for mini grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. Funds for these activities are approved by the Tampa Bay Water’s Board of Directors each year through its budget. Eligible projects must relate to protecting regional drinking water supplies such as education programs, workshops, exhibits, school activities, awareness campaigns and environmental cleanups.